“A professional experience at CERN, on one’s CV, gives instant credibility!” This affirmation was made by several of the guest speakers at the ALICE, ATLAS, CMS and LHCb Career Networking Event that took place on Tuesday, 29 November 2016 in the Main Auditorium.
The event, which was being held for the fourth successive year, was mostly targeted at current postdocs and graduate students at CERN, enabling them to meet alumni of the LHC experiments as well as providing an insight into career opportunities outside of academia.
Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General launched the event, highlighting its importance in providing the collaborations’ current students with real-life testimonials from colleagues who have made the transition from academia to various other domains, including consultancy, patent law and IT. She outlined her endeavour to launch a CERN Alumni Programme in 2017. The CERN Alumni Project Leader, Laure Esteveny, gave a brief description of what alumni should expect from this programme, dubbed the “High-Energy Network”, and the attendees were further invited to register their interest in joining by signing up at http://alumni.cern/.
A captive audience, comprised of more than 250 participants, was drawn into a series of diverse and illuminating presentations (see the Indico page of the event), where former members of the LHC collaborations elaborated on their post-CERN professional experiences in a varied range of fields, the challenges they had met and advice on how to overcome them. The speakers were joined by additional LHC collaboration alumni for lively panel discussions at two points during the event. Audience members were given the opportunity to ask questions not only following the presentations and during the panel discussions, but also during the networking breaks.
Participants commented that the broad range of speakers and the experiences they reported served to demystify the path towards a possible leap from academia, whilst the vast majority of speakers added that they felt they would have greatly benefited from participating in such an event during their time at CERN. Thanks to the positive feedback from the participants, the organisational team is pleased to announce its return in 2017. We look forward to seeing you then!